House GOP Continues To Practice Medicine Without a License

I didn’t know that getting elected to Congress was a fast track to being able to play doctor. They finally have passed a funding bill to address the Zika virus in the United States but added some pretty unusual addendums…and of course prescribed how the funds could be directed.

The House passed a proposal that allocates $1.1 billion to fight the Zika virus — just over half the amount the Obama administration requested four months ago to stop the epidemic.

Democrats are furious that Republicans short-changed the president’s funding request. They are particularly upset that the bill excludes $50 million in requested funds for maternal and child health and blocks supplemental funds from going to Planned Parenthood for birth control services. The bill mandates that the Zika funds be prioritized for mosquito control programs, vaccines and diagnostics, leaving no resources for contraceptives or condoms (emphasis mine).

So instead of allowing health professionals take whatever actions they deem necessary, the House is dictating what they can and can’t do? BTW: do we even have a viable vaccine yet?

But never fear:

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the bill would sufficiently address the crisis.

“It is a responsible plan that assures the administration will continue to have the needed resources to protect the public,” he said.

I wish there was a responsible plan to protect the public from House Speaker Paul Ryan.

And the White House response:

“It is clear that once again, Republicans have put political games ahead of the health and safety of the American people, particularly pregnant women and their babies,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. “This plan from congressional Republicans is four months late and nearly a billion dollars short of what our public health experts have said is necessary to do everything possible to fight the Zika virus, and steals funding from other health priorities.”

One more time the House GOP is slow to react to a looming health issue…some parts of the country are months into the mosquito season already…and then take a strange turn and blunt the ability of our health care providers to do their jobs effectively (remember Ebola?).

US Senate Again Refuses To Do Its Job

And no I am not talking about the GOPs continued stonewalling on approving Merrick Garland to the US Supreme Court…I am talking about the Senate refusing to consider emergency funds requested by the Centers for Disease Control to prepare for the Zika virus this summer.

The U.S. Congress doesn’t look any closer to funding anti-Zika efforts now than it did last week. If anything, lawmakers appear to have taken steps back.

After hours of speeches on Zika from the Senate floor on Thursday, lawmakers adjourned for a week-long recess still fundamentally divided on how best to combat the virus. It was an anticlimactic end to this week’s Zika debate, which was perhaps the most dramatic since the Obama administration sent lawmakers an emergency funding request two months ago. As late as Thursday morning, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was insisting the Senate not break until lawmakers move on Zika. His demands came even as a previously in-progress deal hadn’t materialized, and as Republican lawmakers continued to balk at a bill that would fully finance a White House funding request.

“We shouldn’t be taking 10 days off as a dangerous virus threatens this nation,” Reid said. “And it is threatening us.”

In early February, the Obama administration asked Congress to quickly pass nearly $1.9 billion in emergency funds. It trotted out public-health officials to explain what they knew about the virus’s potential effect in the Americas, and what they needed to develop: a vaccine, top-flight diagnostic tests, rapid-response teams for any Zika clusters that pop up in the United States, among other measures.

So far, Congress hasn’t allocated any new money. The White House grudgingly repurposed about $600 million in Ebola funds for Zika earlier this month, at House Republicans’ urging, but the administration and public-health officials maintain much more is needed. The number of cases in the continental United States and in the territories continues to grow. Scientists have confirmed the virus causes the birth defect microcephaly and the immune disorder Guillain-Barré, and are investigating a link between Zika and brain and spinal-cord infections. Officials are also concerned about the coming warmer months, particularly in warm-weather states. “Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought,” said Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s principal deputy director, at a White House briefing two weeks ago.

This would seem like a completely non-partisan bill…and what could be a more important priority for Congress than to protect the health and well-being of Americans. But apparently not!

How the administration’s Zika offensive should be funded, and by how much, has broken down mostly along party lines. Generally speaking, Senate Democrats have supported separate, emergency funding for the virus, while Republicans have not. Some congressional GOP leaders insist on considering the money as part of the ongoing 2017 appropriations process, which would mean taking funds away from other parts of the budget to pay for Zika. In that case, funding would also not be available until October when the new fiscal year begins, months after Congress first received a funding request from the White House.

This is totally beyond belief…something like this should be an automatic approval…period.

Hillary Clinton version 2016 is apparently very comfortable attacking a fellow Democrat’s health care plan

Here’s Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2008 talking about Barack Obama’s attacks on her health care reform plan.

Fast-forward to this year’s presidential campaign and we’ve got the answer to the question Hillary Clinton asked in 2008, and the answer comes courtesy of Clinton herself, as well as her daughter Chelsea.

Here’s what Hillary Clinton had to say in her attack on Bernie Sanders’ universal health care proposal earlier this week.

“His plan would take Medicare and Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Affordable Care Act health care insurance and private employer health insurance and he would take that all together and send health insurance to the states, turning over your and my health insurance to governors,” Clinton said. “We had enough of a fight to get to the Affordable Care Act. So I don’t want to rip it up and start over.”

Clinton’s attack on Sanders’ healthcare plan has been debunked as being false, but that hasn’t stopped Chelsea Clinton from joining in on the attacks on Bernie Sanders’ healthcare plan on behalf of her mother’s campaign.

In response to attacks on his proposal for a single-payer universal healthcare system, the Sanders campaign tweeted thusly:

Is Papa John’s paying the price for “Papa” John’s anti-Obamacare rhetoric?

I’ll admit this brings a smile to my face…

It turns out that being a good corporate citizen is as important to selling pizzas as the thinness of the crust or the quality of the cheese.

If you don’t believe it, just ask Papa John CEO, John Schnatter.

As covered—and criticized—in this column in great detail, Mr. Schnatter decided to mix his politics with his pepperoni when suggesting that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees in order to bring them below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require Schnatter to provide his employees with healthcare benefits.

It turns out, the pizza eating public did not approve.

Indeed, so serious was the reaction that Schnatter was forced to publish an op-ed piece where he sought to convince us that he never really intended to cut back worker hours but had simply been speculating on what he might do in response to the legislation.

According to YouGov BrandIndex, a leading marketing survey that measures brand perception in the marketplace (called “Buzz”), Papa John’s had good reason for concern as the pizza chain’s brand identity has plummeted from a high of 32 on election day, to a remarkably low score of 4 among adults who have eaten at causal dining restaurants during the past month.

Planned Parenthood Shooting: Classic Blame the Victim!

A state lawmaker in Colorado is blaming Planned Parenthood for the terrorist shooting in Colorado Springs: “Rep. JoAnn Windholz wrote in a Facebook posting Monday that Planned Parenthood is “the real culprit” for violence.” Not surprisingly Rep. Windholz is a Republican.

“Violence is never the answer, but we must start pointing out who is the real culprit,” Windholz wrote.

She called Planned Parenthood the “true instigator of this violence” because it provides abortions.

“Violence begets violence,” Windholz wrote, concluding with a plea to pray for women who get abortions and doctors who perform them.

The lawmaker confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday that the posting is accurate but said she had nothing more to say about it.

No, I am sure that it has nothing to do with the hysterical campaign slogans and speeches and debate points coming out of the GOP presidential race nor the discredited video of a few months back…nothing at all.

And I don’t think those killed were violent individuals who instigated violence…I just don’t.

Colorado Springs, Planned Parenthood, and GOP Presidential Candidates

When is enough a f*cking nuff? The only credit that I’ll give the GOP riff raff is that no one said: ‘if only they had all been armed this would never have happened.”

And they should all be taking a real clear look at their positions and their comments prior to yesterday’s events…as they continue to demonize a women’s health organization. How many white Christian men have they radicalized over the past six months? How many more American born terrorists will they inspire?

I won’t go into the comments from their supporters…they are beyond the pale.

So let me close with a little snark from the internet:

Vigilantes Planned Parenthood

Scott Walker’s ObamaCare replacement plan would not protect all Americans with preexisting conditions

So it looks like Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to repeal ObamaCare would likely leave a lot of Americans with preexisting conditions without health care coverage.

Walker’s plan says it would “protect all Americans with pre-existing conditions,” but when you read the fine print, you realize that’s not accurate. It would only bar preexisting conditions for Americans who have continuous coverage — who never have a lapse between their plans. But there aren’t any protections mentioned for people who do drop coverage at some point. This group is big: One study found that between 2004 and 2007, 89 million Americans had at least a one-month gap in coverage.

Senator Ron Johnson Is Trying To Save Obamacare

Remember our Senator Ron Johnson’s lawsuit against Obamacare? Who can forget one of the most inane things he’s done in Washington so far in is term as senator.

Well apparently the GOP wised up to the fact they states led by GOP governors who refused to set up their own state insurance exchanges will be in a major world of hurt if the Supreme Court rules against the current implementation of the Affordable Care Act:

A Supreme Court ruling due in a few weeks could wipe out health insurance for millions of people covered by President Barack Obama’s health care law. But it’s Republicans — not White House officials — who have been talking about damage control.

A likely reason: Twenty-six of the 34 states that would be most affected by the ruling have Republican governors, and 22 of the 24 GOP Senate seats up in 2016 are in those states.

Obama’s law offers subsidized private insurance to people without access to it on the job. In the court case, opponents of the law argue that its literal wording allows the federal government to subsidize coverage only in states that set up their own health insurance markets.

Most states have not done so, because of the intense partisanship over “Obamacare” and in some cases because of technical problems. Instead, they rely on the federal HealthCare.gov website.

And of course the timing couldn’t be worse…not smart to take affordable health care away from millions of your constituents just before the presidential election cycle….not a good idea at all. So what’s a GOP legislator to do? Well pass a new law to extend the subsidies if the Supreme Courts rule against it. And guess who is out front on that line of thinking? Wisconsin’s Republican Senator Ron Johnson:

If the subsidies are overturned, Republicans will first try blaming Obama and the Democrats for writing flawed legislation and then trying to paper over problems with regulations. Then they’ll move ahead with a patch to appease angry constituents.

A bill introduced by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., would continue the subsidies for existing customers only on the federal exchange until Sept. 2017. That would open a window for states to act, but it would ultimately leave the problem for the next president and Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is a co-sponsor.

Whoa whoa whoa…wait…what?

But of course Sen. Johnson is also taking a swipe at the ACA:

Johnson’s bill would repeal the requirements for individuals to have insurance and for larger employers to offer coverage to workers.

So the president is likely to oppose the legislation on these last grounds and get to take the blame for not extending coverage for those who may lose it. But of course the court could just surprise us and say the intent of the legislation is clear and let it stand.

BTW: why is Yahoo news the first place that I have seen this information @ Sen. Johnson’s new found support for Obamacare?